Today is St. Patrick’s Day, 2008 – and in honor of the occasion I am posting my lineage in the form of a partial family tree. I’ve got a really great family – and I love ’em all. But I have the most family history from the Conry side. It’s also the branch of the family that my siblings and I have been most connected with over the years. We’re very proud of our Irish roots in my family!
John Conry was my great-great grandfather. Around 1856, he had to hurriedly leave Ireland, because of his involvement with the rebellion against the British, who had invaded the country. He immigrated to Canada on a “coffin ship” (so called because of all the deaths that occurred on them). A carpenter by trade, he arrived in Montreal at the age of 17 or 18, “without friends or funds.” He married Mary McIntosh, despite the opposition of her Scottish (and Protestant) family, which objected to John’s Catholic faith.
John couldn’t find work as a carpent and so pulled a wagon selling his wife’s preserves. As customers increased, he bought a horse and wagon, and eventually owned three grocery stores. He died suddenly at the age of 35 from “accute indigestion” (probably appendicitis), leaving a widow with 5 children.
Mary’s family offered to help raise the children if shewould agree to “come back” to their religion. She refused her parents help, sold two of the stores, and kept one store to run herself while she raised her children on her own.
Here’s a picture of my great-grandparents, Frank and Margaret (Monaghan) Conry, with their children. My grandfather, Leo is the cute little guy with the fancy white tie.
More history to come. . .